Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The 2003 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure & problems with the stereo backlight failing. We recommend avoiding this model year like the plague.

The transmission begins slipping & eventually has to be replaced, typically soon after 90,000 miles & with a repair cost of over $2,000. Transmission failure has been a huge problem for the Accord & several other Honda models all through the early 2000s model years. Honda extended the transmission warranty to 93 months/109k miles for the 2000-2001 Accord as a class action lawsuit settlement, but owners of other Accord model years with transmission problems are out of luck.

The stereo backlight problem has been an issue since these Accords were only a few years old. Honda eventually issued a recall which covered the repair for 7 years/100k miles, which was nice while it lasted but now that period is over. Honda initially was replacing the entire radio ($800) but eventually began replacing just the PCB which at ~$300 is much cheaper. That sounds like a deal, but keep in mind we're talking about a backlight bulb that costs $2 to fix in most other cars.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
2 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Honda Accord body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #4

Feb 112004

(reported on)


  • miles


When accelerating or depressing brakes a clicking noise came from front driver's side of vehicle. Technician serviced vehicle and determined body panel was spot welded instead of welded.

- Gambrills, MD, USA

problem #3

Jan 052004

(reported on)


  • miles
The consumer is concerned about the design of the vehicle. The consumer almost had three accidents because of a blind spot created by the front window frame's design. The driver's side window frame completely blocks the driver's vision when going around a left curve.

- Lake City, FL, USA

problem #2

Jun 192003

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 10 miles
Vehicle alignment problems. Vehicle has been at the original purchase dealer four different times, tires were rotated, and the vehicle was aligned. Vehicle was taken to a different dealer, and they stated that vehicle had serious problems with the frame. Manufacturer was contacted, and has told the consumer that he will need to meet with somebody from the manufacturer so the can recheck vehicle, but no solution has been found so far.

- Hazleton, PA, USA

problem #1

Oct 202002


  • miles
Falling acorns have left over 30 pock marks on the body of the vehicle. We also have a 2002 Honda CRV that was subjected to the same conditions with much less damage resulting, just a few small dings. The metal on the 2003 Accord feels significantly weaker to the touch than the body of the 2002 CRV. I previously had a 2000 Accord that was also subjected to these conditions with minor damage. This car looks like it was pelted with hail stones. It seems to me that a car should withstand the impact of an acorn! I wonder how it would do in a crash test.

- Weston, CT, USA

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